May 22, 2023
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras have gained immense popularity in the film industry due to their exceptional image quality and the flexibility of BRAW (Blackmagic RAW) format. With all the available cinema camera options, how to does it fare against the competition in 2023? Josh is on hand to take you through the pros and cons of his experience of using a Blackmagic camera for the very first time.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera offers impressive recording capabilities, with the ability to shoot up to 4K 60fps in both Prores 422 and Blackmagic Raw formats. The camera features slots for CFast and SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, an HDMI output, Mini XLR Mic/Line port, and a 5-inch monitor. Despite its larger size, the camera feels surprisingly light and comfortable to hold. The button layout is user-friendly and easily accessible, enhancing the overall shooting experience. The camera's menu system is intuitive and suitable for both beginners and experienced videographers.
While the camera offers various recording options, it is essential to consider its limitations. Recording in BRAW requires external SSD drives, which can add to the overall cost. The 5-inch monitor, although adequate, might prove challenging to use outdoors, necessitating the addition of an external monitor. Furthermore, the lack of built-in stabilization means using a gimbal or tripod is recommended to achieve stable shots. The camera's battery life is a notable drawback, so carrying spare batteries or attaching a V-mount battery is advisable for longer shoots.
One aspect to consider is the rolling shutter effect, which can be noticeable depending on the shooting conditions and techniques employed. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera performs well in low-light situations, thanks to its base ISO settings of 400 and 3200. However, noise can become more prominent at higher ISO values. Blackmagic RAW (BRAW): One of the highlights of this camera is the Blackmagic RAW format, offering post-production flexibility, including white balance adjustment. Shooting a frame with intentionally incorrect white balance allows for easy correction during editing, ensuring consistent color grading across multiple cameras.
To optimize the camera's capabilities, it is recommended to rig it with additional accessories. Attaching a V-mount battery for extended battery life, using a bright external monitor for outdoor visibility, and incorporating an SSD drive for optimal codecs are all beneficial enhancements. However, these additions can significantly increase the overall cost of the camera setup.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera stands out for its affordability, impressive specs, and natural-looking image quality. The availability of micro four-thirds lenses also offers more affordable options compared to full-frame lenses. On the downside, the camera's battery life is limited, and its size may not be suitable for those seeking a compact and portable solution. Additionally, additional rigging and accessories can increase the overall investment required.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is ideal for production companies, DPs (Director of Photography), and creators working on projects such as music videos, art pieces, and mini documentaries. However, for everyday content creators relying on vlogging, autofocus, and a flip screen, other options like Canon or Sony mirrorless cameras may be more suitable.
While the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera may not be the perfect fit for everyone, its versatility, high-quality images, and flexibility make it a valuable tool for professional creators working behind the lens. By considering its strengths, weaknesses, and target audience, you can make an informed decision regarding its suitability for your specific needs.
Make room for new gear in minutes.